Review: Brick People (iOS)

Sega has made a few very strong entries into the iOS market, mostly thanks to some good original titles like Samurai Bloodshow. Even the ports, like Chu Chu Rocked and Sonic and Sega All-Star Racing have been very enjoyable overall and showed that Sega tries to get a solid foothold in the market. With Brick People, we have a port of an arcade game that unfortunately never saw a release outside of Japan. Will this be another great game for the platform or an utter disappointment? Hit the jump to find out!

Generalizing statements are very dangerous, but I still feel like I should start this review off by saying that videogames are at least to a certain extent about two things: Controls and Control. Yes, I know it sounds quite confusing now, but it will be clearer if I explain it a bit: Controls is about how well you can control a game. Control on the other hand is about how much you are in control over what is happening. An alternative term would be power, but I refuse it since it isn’t nearly as confusing.

Brick People has good controls but bad control. You have to place bricks in order for the Brick People to climb them so they can get the fruit. That is in itself a simple mechanic and that’s fine for an iOS game. The touch controls work well, you drag bricks from the borders of the screens to the main area and let them fall, Tetris-style, to the ground so that the Brick people can jump on them or climb them up so they can get. Dragging and dropping the bricks works well and gives the game a certain flow. It gives you a great amount of precision while making quick reactions possible.

However, you’re never in control of the situation. See, you never can control the brick people themselves, they move on their own. If they are moving away from the last piece that needs to be collected, there is absolutely nothing you can do. No matter how much skill you have, if the brick people are acting different from what you want them to do, you can’t change it. As far as I’m concerned, it’s always a bad idea to add too much randomness to an Arcade game where the Highscore is the ultimate aim.

You might have gotten the impression that I don’t like this game. That is less due to the fact that the game in itself is bad and more due to my impression that somewhere else, well, maybe in Arcades, the game would work way better. The original version has a physical component which makes it more fun. This aspect isn’t present here and the game suffers for it. The cute art style helps the game to a certain extent, but the music is downright annoying. I also don’t see the point of having a Time limit in the game if you get a continue after it runs out. Sure, it can be seen in your score whether or not you have used one, but it doesn’t influence the score. At least not as far as I can see.

That’s the other thing: I don’t know how the scoring works in this game. It never told me how it works and I can only make assumptions. You might think I suck at this game and you’re probably right, but I can’t say it’s my fault, because while the game tells you how to play it, it never tells you how to get a high score.

I wasn’t able to test the multiplayer, but based on what I played in the single player section, I really can’t recommend this game. Having played it for many times during these two weeks thaught me that it is quite hard to have fun with this title. Even the more rewarding parts, like the art style, can’t save this one for me. Final Score: C-

  • Josh Newey

    Few things irritate me more than score meters that don’t tell you how to ramp up points. Ugh.

    I’m still curious, but at this point I’ll probably just wait for a sale of some sort.

  • I think it is on sale as we speak…

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